Think bold. Think BIG!

What's your big idea?

Definition of a Big Idea


Ideas submitted should be transformational to UCI and/or the world. When formulating your big idea, please consider the full scope of the project needs. For example, will your idea require new infrastructure to be built? What is currently in place or has the ability to be repurposed?

A big idea should meet at least 3 of the following criteria:

  1. Align with the UCI Strategic Plan*
  2. Be transformational to UCI and/or the world
  3. Be multidisciplinary or multi-organizational
  4. Include areas where UCI is emerging as a leader
  5. Link to fundamental grand challenges or opportunities
  6. Make UCI competitive in the marketplace


A big idea cannot:

  1. Bundle small ideas together
  2. Lead to slow, incremental improvement (no “next steps” research)
  3. Be solely based on a building project or naming

Required Submission Information:

As you prepare your big idea submission, please keep the following in mind, as these questions must be answered in the application.

  • Clearly stated goal/short description of your idea (250-words max)
  • Detailed description of your big idea (3-pages max)
  • What would it take to fund this big idea?
  • What is the timeline for implementation?
  • Describe the current state of the field and/or how this is unique to the field? (250-words max)
  • Define the urgency of your idea (for UCI and/or society)
  • How does the project align with the big idea criteria?